Category Archives: Uncategorized

In Sickness and in Health

So…it seems tough gal is okay giving horses shots but isn’t tough enough to give herself shots, so her tough guy does it for her.

Isn’t it always something new in marriage? I bet over our twenty-two years he never figured he’d be pulling meds and hovering over syringes and working up the courage to stick two needles into his wife’s left leg.

As we sat in the bathroom and he figured out his alcohol wipes and his game plan, he told me about his dad and how Hoss could cut his own finger off and probably not even flinch, but would practically pass out when his wife was hurt.

“I feel like my dad right now.”

I told him to hurry up and get it over with, that I was just fine.

And it didn’t even hurt.

Ok maybe an eensy little bit but don’t tell him that.

The older I get, the more wee glimpses I see of what the preacher man meant when he said “in sickness and in health”.

And the more thankful I grow with each passing year for the one who honors that promise daily.

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If you are experiencing ANY of the symptoms of a diseased or low-functioning thyroid, or suspect your adrenal system is not working efficiently, PLEASE begin the big work of researching this little organ that controls so much and make an appointment to see a functional, integrative health doctor to have your blood levels checked.

Start on the road to healing and don’t let a malfunctioning thyroid and/or adrenals take any more time or joy away from you and your loved ones.

*Chronic exhaustion*Always feeling foggy*Cold all the time*Tired upon waking*Unexplained weight gain*Inability to lose weight*Unexplained muscle pain*Achy joints*Hair loss*Dry, brittle hair*Skin/nail changes* (There are many more, these are some of the most common.)

I am learning so much about this disorder that affects so many today, and along with the weekly B12 shots, a wonderful functional health doctor, the love and support of my precious family, a good supplement program, extreme diet changes, and a low dose of natural thyroid replacement, I have begun the path to healing. It is my prayer for you that you too, will be able to find a diagnosis and begin your healing journey as well. Our years are numbered…let’s spend as many of them as we can in good and balanced health.

I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. 2 Kings 20:5

Never Let Go

It’s a funny thing when God answers prayers that you didn’t even know you were praying.

When He sends friends you didn’t know you were in need of…

When He sends a new routine you didn’t know you were missing…

When He sends people to fill a void you didn’t even know was there…

All those little ways He tells you…

In the good times and in the bad times…

In the happy times and in the mournful times…

In the easy times and in the hard times…

He never lets go.

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Oh no, you never let go, every high and every low,

Oh no, you never let go, Lord you never let go of me.

The Leveling

I haven’t written since Beau.

At all.

Well, a couple bursts of Facebook posts here and there, but this is the first time I’ve come back to this place I love so much.

That horse did something to my heart.

It’s only been a month since he died but it seems like a year and then at night, when I wake up for my normal 3 a.m. insomnia check…it’s last week all over again.

As with any death I suppose, I think of “if only”. If only we would’ve caught it sooner. If only we would’ve known he was compromised. If only we would’ve…

And I go round and round and while I know a horse is a horse and not a human, I still grieve. We are still quiet when we speak of him.

But I know this:

Life is fragile and life is precious and sometimes life is too short. But life is a joy and a push and an embrace and sometimes you have to pause but you can never stop.

So I’m here.

I’m here and I’m yearning to write and my heart spills over now with words needing saying and letters needing typed, and this is where I want to be.

Because when God put a pen in the heart, there’s never any stopping it.

There might be a pause.

But today, again, I write.

A word-stringer might slow and her tears might flow, and her words might cease, and her heart might twist…

but after it all settles and that grief smooths some…

a writer will write.

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My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king…Psalm 45:1

Thirty-Five Cents and a Tank Full of Gas

Digging through some old pieces…sniffling a little over this one.
Marriage is so precious. I hope you’re blessed with love today. ❤

Cassandra Rankin

I pulled out of work onto the highway and instead of turning right toward home, I turned left, toward North.

He was North.

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And while it was only a Tuesday, and even though I’d just seen him on Sunday… and even though I had to work the next day…and even though I didn’t have anything with me but the clothes on my back, a quarter tank of gas and thirty-five cents in my pocket…I turned left anyway.

I pointed my little car North and I went to where he was. To where he was working hard, pounding pick axes and hefting dirt and swinging shovels and digging ditches…

…and thinking of me.Scan3

But when I got there an hour and a half later, he wasn’t there.

My knock was quiet on his motel room door and even though I’d never been there, the gas station attendant’s directions brought me right…

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Cancer Day

It is world cancer day. I won’t post one of those candle memes because there are plenty of those today.

What I WILL post is this:

Since walking through a cancer diagnosis, surgery, and radiation with my precious  husband a year and a half ago, I know this: cancer changes people.

It changes lives.

It is a quiet evil that screams threats and fear and destruction.

It is a monolith of a word that takes your world and turns it upside down and the only things bigger than cancer when you’re walking with cancer…

are faith, hope and love.

And the greatest of these is love.

Yes, we can greet them with a smile.

Definitely greet them with a smile.

And a hug. And flowers. A meal or two. A letter now and then.

We can pray without ceasing

And we can give them a hand to hold.

Their faith may be bigger than cancer, but even with faith there are scary moments with cancer…

but the greatest of these is love…

and believe me, when love creeps into those middle-of-the-night moments and someone with cancer feels arms wrapped around him tight…

and she feels valued as a person and loved for who she is…

and seen for his beautiful strength and not for his disease…

there ain’t NO disease that can destroy that.

Cancer changed our lives and because it did, I carry a list of treasured names in my heart. Warriors every one. Some are gone but some fight on.

Will you add my list to yours and show them faith today?

Will you share your hope?

Will you pray without ceasing? For them, for their loved ones?

But most of all, will you give them love?

Until we find a cure…

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Photo credit: Peninsula Radiation Oncology Center

 

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

 1 Corinthians 13:1-8

A Little Light

Oh! This came across my newsfeed today and it makes my heart smile.

 

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We ADORE Kate! We positvely cherished The Tale of Despereaux. Our tattered copy rests lovingly on our shelf of favorites.

 

A friend of mine, Merci, well, she went and drove hours through the mountains this past spring to meet our literary hero, and she took a copy of Annie Spruce with her . MY book, my wee little book, it went straight from my friend’s delivering hands into those of one of our favorite authors in all the world…I still get warm chills all over to think of it…and one of the sweetest things tacked to my bulletin board is a thank-you note postcard handwritten to our family from Ms. Kate herself.

She is so right! Stories ARE light. That is exactly why I wrote and published Annie Spruce. I wanted our little story of God’s goodness and light to be out and shining it’s sweet little light in this world that can be so very dark at times.

 

“Stories are light.”

 

Make sure to share yours, friend! This world needs your shine!

 

Have a great week!

A Few Hours with Them

Maybe it was the Christmas decorations that were strewn about…organized disassembly…boxes of deco stacked…a reminder that yet another year has passed…

Maybe it was the talk I had with my kids on the drive over about how life is messy and love is messy and health doesn’t always work like it should, and bodies and minds aren’t always strong…

Maybe it was the sight of a law enforcement co-worker from not so long ago being wheeled around the corner, his strong chest that once carried Kevlar, weaker but still carrying courage …

Maybe it was the beautiful and stoic face of the matriarch figure, walking her strong and determined legs down the hall toward her car to drive home in dark alone, but not before hugging me while I cried with her and listened to her tell me of her beloved, a stroke bringing in the new year and adding to his daily struggle to remember…

Maybe it was the fresh news of a beloved sister losing her daddy just that afternoon…

Maybe it was the old faces I carry daily in my heart of all the elderly in the State of Michigan that smiled proudly and humbly into my 19-year old eyes as I hauled their government box of food to their tidy and inexpensive sedans, shaking their hands during my first job in a line of many that taught me love and compassion for society’s overlooked…

Maybe it was just that I so wish my girls would know my GrannyCakes who left us all too early…

Maybe it was that the elderly man sitting quietly in the green chair at the end of the hall tonight was the spitting image of my Grandaddy the last time I saw him when he was in a place just like this and his smile and his gaunt figure still laid fresh my spirit when we all celebrated his life over pizza while choking back sobs because we knew that his final home there among our country’s heroes would be our family’s final meeting place and that when, 24 hours after flying back home at the end of our years-ago trip, I wasn’t surprised to get a phone call that he’d passed peacefully in his sleep, the smells of his loved ones still on the flannel shirt he’d worn  at that last family reunion.

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Maybe it was the trauma of a hundred little stresses of this past month pressing down and flowing out the corners of my heart.

Maybe it was the knowing that through all the anxiety and all the loss and all the heartbreak and all the tears…

… that faith in the One who holds it all…

…really will hold it all.

Or maybe it was just them.

The sweet, sweet and precious souls that filled the tables of the meeting place where the kids -my own kids and my 4-H kids- all met together and learned how to make cute little packages of art and scent and love.

Maybe it was just them that filled my heart and left me still…

…and left me wanting to watch it all and hug them all and love them all…

all in the two short hours we had with them.

Maybe it was just them that filled the place of grandparents and great-grandparents and homesteads and communities and those-that-have-gone-before.

Maybe it was just them.

This bridging of decades and disabilities and genes and generations.

These kids.

These seniors.

These ones who are new.

These ones who have gone before.

These ones our world could just forget.

These ones who bring knowing and wisdom and innocence and love…

and in bringing all that they bring weakness and they bring strength and they bring what life really is.

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Seventeen club members and at least fifteen residents sat side-by-side, and they put their hands together and made beauty and because they did…

bridges were built over decades and friendships were unfolded over minutes.

And when my precious girl who has such a heart for young and those who are weaker and especially those who are aged…

…when she sat down next to that fragile white-haired beauty who once farmed and who still has work in her hands, my throat made the ugly-cry and I had to choke it off lest I just start sobbing and not stop for the ones who were fighting the fact…

…that ugly fact that it’s all just ending too soon.

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When my children, these four I drive home, when they talk for hours about the joy and they bubble over to their daddy at home the delight the night brought them and how they can’t wait to go be part of the lives of the new friends they’ve made, I want to sob still because while there are new friendships forming, there are endings that come too soon, and this beautiful nest of a place reminds me of that and it leaves me still, and it leaves me remembering.

The endings can be so beautiful.

But the endings…

the endings,

they always come too soon.

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For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:5